Today while walking to class I found myself envious of two couples, both clearly at different stages in their relationship. There was a young couple, each on opposite sides of a fence, leaning over to awkwardly hold hands. I could tell that it wasn’t a comfortable way to stand, twisted, with the fence pushing into their arms a little, and the girl up on her toes, but neither of them seemed to mind it much. They were talking to each other like there wasn’t 250 students passing them just 2 feet away. The beginning of a relationship is so exciting and invigorating. Getting to share your stories with someone that hasn’t been there to see them or heard them already. An active listener who hangs on your words and thinks you can accomplish those dreams that other people that maybe know you a little better might scoff at and say “well you’ll have to get off the sofa if you’re going to do that…” It’s like for a brief moment you can reinvent yourself and have an audience there to say “Wow, you’re just what I want.” And there are those butterflies in your stomach and the intense feeling that you want to be with that person all the time.
The older couple had something that at first glace seems totally different than the daters. They both wore wedding bands and I would guess from the look of them that they had small children, possibly small enough to keep them up at night because they looked a little tired. They sat close together on a stone bench. They held hands too, but neither of them looked uncomfortable, their hands just seemed to fit together like they had been in that position many times before. They laughed a little but mostly just sat silently with their eyes closed enjoying a few minutes of sunshine. I thought maybe one of them was a professor, on a break, and the other came to visit only not so much visit (talk) but more just be together. Long term relationships have that warm, fuzzy blanket that smells like your house feeling. I watched them the whole time I walked to my class. They looked good, happy, easy. I wondered how I could bring all of those feelings into my relationship. I wondered how I could show my husband that I think he could do accomplish all of his dreams. I want to hang on his every word and feel giggly when I realize I will see him in a few hours. And, I want to be wrapped up in a blanket that smells like him and sit quietly with him in the sunshine. I want an new-old relationship.